Instagram recently announced its tools for businesses. These include new profiles for businesses, analytics and the capability of converting Instagram posts into advertisements directly from the app itself. Ahead of this exercise, the company interacted with a large number of businesses to find out that needs were not being served to the extent desired. It emerged that business owners were primarily concerned with having more effective ways of making their posts and profiles prominent, tools permitting them to understand their customers better, as also tools that would assist them to get new customers.
According to James Quarles, Global Head of Business and Brand Development of Instagram, the vast majority of the social media platform’s 200,000 users that are active are small and medium businesses, and hence it was felt that there was a need to develop a specialized facility for them. Additionally, half of Instagram’s users follow a business and around 60% use Instagram to learn more about products and services. Only businesses that have a Facebook page are eligible to convert their Instagram account and get access to the new features.
The Advantages of Instagram Business Accounts
Before the rollout of Instagram business profiles, the only way that Instagram followers could interact with a business outside the platform was by visiting its profile and clicking on the website link there. After the contact information has been provided for a business account, a contact button will automatically appear in the profile of the business. By clicking that button Instagram users can choose one of the three ways of contacting the business; email, phone call or simply finding the location of the business on a map.
Permission to Use Analytics
Till now it was only possible to monitor analytics by using third party tools, either free or paid because Instagram itself did not offer any such facility. This has now changed with the introduction of Insights, a group of analytics tools, which even if not quite robust is extremely convenient for business owners to understand how Instagram is working for them. Business owners just need to go to their profiles and click on the icon of Insights that appears on the screen’s top right corner to get an overall view of the posts.
In the Insights section, owners of business profiles will be able to see analytics relating to impressions, follower information, and reach for the last one week as also the analytics applicable to individual posts after the changeover to a business profile. Listed first are the impressions, swiping left enables the reach to be seen. Next on the list are the top posts of the last one week, and upon clicking “See More” the posts will be sorted by the number of impressions.
To view the analytics for any particular post, it should be clicked, and then the impressions, engagement, and reach can be seen by clicking on “View Insights”. Right at the end of the “Insights” section, it is possible to see follower information. A chart displaying the users for the day and the time when the users are most active can be seen. By clicking on ‘See More’ the number of followers currently, the gender breakdown, range of ages, and the most popular locations, as well as active hours, can be found out for each day of the week
The creation of advertisements is made very easy by users who have Instagram’s business account. Earlier, one could only use the advertising tools of Facebook to create advertisements. Now promoting posts has been made very easy; all that is needed to be done is to click on the relevant post and thereafter select “Promote”. After this, you can customize a Call to Action button with your own text, choose your target audience, and decide on the budget and the timeframe for the advertisement to run.
The launch of the business profile by Instagram is making it easier than before for businesses to get noticed by Instagram followers. The set of analytics that these accounts are provided with makes it easy to establish the follower profile, their peak activity levels as well as create customized content for better engagement.